Voting by mail is quick, easy, safe, and secure. Here’s your checklist to make sure your vote is counted this fall (download and share these instructions here):
Step 1. Check your voter registration.
If you’re moving, you should register to vote at your current address. If you are moving after the registration deadline, contact the clerk in your new town of residence for guidance (according to the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Voting FAQs at bit.ly/mavotingfaqs).
Step 2. Apply for your ballot.
All voters registered by July 1, 2020 were mailed an application from the Secretary of the
Commonwealth on July 15, 2020. Either return this application or request a new one. Voters registered between July 1, 2020 and the August 22, 2020 deadline will receive an application from their local registrar, but should apply for a ballot separately regardless.
- The application allows you to request a vote-by-mail ballot for the primary, general election, or both. For the primary, you also have to select which party’s primary ballot you want.
- Primaries are separated by party and you must request a Democratic ballot if you wish to vote for Democratic candidates. Only registered Democrats or Unenrolled (independent) voters may vote in the Democratic primary.
If you didn’t receive an application in the mail and can’t print another form, any written request is acceptable, as long as it’s signed. The statement should include your name, address, where to mail your ballot, and what political party primary ballot you wish to be sent.
Send the signed application to your local election office. Applications can be mailed or hand-delivered. They must be received by August 26, 2020 to vote by mail in the State Primary and October 28, 2020 to vote by mail in the General Election, so mail your application far ahead of time.
- Applications may also be submitted electronically by fax or email, as long as your signature is visible.
- E-Signatures are accepted, however, the signature has to be similar to your hand-written signature. Typed signatures are not acceptable.
Step 3. Cast your ballot.
Carefully read the instructions on the ballot and cast your vote. If you need assistance voting, you can ask someone to assist you in marking your ballot in your presence.
Return your ballot well before election day to ensure its arrival by September 1, 2020. You may also vote in person if your early vote ballot isn’t received.
Early Vote is available during the State Primary from August 22, 2020 to August 28, 2020 and during the General Election from October 17, 2020 to October 30, 2020.
If you decide to vote early in person or head to the polls on Election Day, be sure to:
- Wear a mask when outside or around others.
- Wear disposable gloves, if possible.
- Bring your own black ballpoint pen.
- Use hand sanitizer.
- Practice social distancing by staying six feet apart at all times.
Step 4. Return your ballot.
You can return your ballot by mail or in person.
If you’re mailing your ballot, use the return envelope that was provided with the ballot. If you’re hand-delivering your ballot, you can drop it off at your local election office or in an official ballot return drop-box. Contact your local election office for the location of their secure drop-box.
The local Election Officer must receive your ballot by September 1, 2020 at 8 p.m. to be counted in the State Primary. For the General Election, your ballot must be mailed by November 3, 2020 (postmarked by this date or other indication of validity) and received by November 6, 2020 (11/13 if international).
You can track your ballot using the Secretary of State’s website. If it is not received by September 1, 2020 you may vote in person.
Vote by Mail Trainings
Leading up to the September 1, 2020 State Primary, we’ll be putting on a series of vote-by-mail trainings to teach voters how to submit their applications, fill out their ballots, and return their ballots on time to make sure their vote is counted. All voters, community leaders and others are all welcome to join and learn. Trainings will be weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Click the blocks below to sign up for a training on that day. For a printable vote by mail guide, click here.